Do you want to make a will? There are several forms of wills recognized in Quebec: the holographic will, the will before a witness and the notarial will. Often your approach will begin with a Google search. And two choices will be presented to you, either to make your will with a notary or to use an online will template. Companies that offer a will template online will make you think you can make a will for free (or a few dozen dollars) in the comfort of your own home and thereby protect your loved ones in a few clicks. I admit it’s tempting, but let’s take a closer look.
The problem with will templates
A will template found on the internet can come from another French-speaking or English-speaking country (France, Belgium, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, etc.) and will not comply with Quebec law. There is a good chance that the sections of the Quebec Civil Code relating to wills differ from one country to another. This could be a source of problems for the heirs and the liquidator during liquidation of the estate.
A holographic will or a will done before witnesses will have to be verified
A template of a holographic will found on the internet will have to be copied in its entirety and signed by hand to be valid. A will done before witnesses, like the holograph will, will have to be verified after your death by the Superior Court of Quebec or by a notary. This verification step will incur fees of several thousand dollars and delays of several months which will delay liquidation of your estate.
A notarized will will cost less than a free or low-cost template found on the internet.
A will prepared by a notary involves fees of a few hundred dollars (generally $300 to $600 for a standard will). The price of the will will vary depending on the complexity of your situation and the experience and expertise of the notary who prepares it for you. The procedure for verification of a holograph will or a will done before witnesses can cost your estate more than three times as much and waste valuable time during which the deceased’s assets (bank accounts, property) will be inaccessible.
A will template found on the internet is not worth as much as a notarial will
Making a will on the internet suggests that making a will is simple and that the legal advice of the notary is unnecessary or can be replaced by logic rules arising from multiple choice questions that an internet will form asks you. This is completely false! During the one-hour legal consultation, Mtre Mona Salehi will discuss your situation with you and ask many questions that will allow her to draw up your will, in clear and unambiguous terms which will facilitate liquidation of the estate.
Only a notary can guarantee a will in good and due form, which does not have to be homologated (verified by the Court), compliant with the laws of Quebec, appropriate for your needs and situation, written clearly and precisely to limit problems of interpretation. It is important to note that a will drawn up by a lawyer is equivalent to a will made before witnesses. As a result, it will also have to be verified.
Holographic wills and wills made before witnesses can be lost or destroyed
A notarized will cannot be lost or destroyed or altered, because it is kept in the notary’s vault. Upon death, it will quickly be traced during the will search. This might not be the case with another form of will that the heirs might not find.
In addition, a holographic will or a will made before witnesses can be modified or destroyed by an ill-intentioned person before or after death. The notary keeps the original of the will in her fireproof vault and only issues copies, so that the original of the will that you signed is safe.
Are you looking for more information about wills or want to make a notarial will? Contact us at 514-903-8560 without delay.
Please note that this article is not legal advice or an opinion. For advice appropriate to your situation and before making a decision or taking any action, you are advised to consult a notary.